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Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With the college football season past the halfway mark and the NFL season close to the midway point, here's some early thoughts on what my version of a Pats draft might look like. Of course, what BB will do is always a total mystery the morning of the draft much less 6 months in advance, but I thought this was worth doing more to throw out some names to keep an eye on than for any other reason.

    Right now I'm assuming a lot of juniors will declare because of uncertainty about a 2011 rookie salary scale, so I'm not counting anyone out, especially since this is largely an exercise to bring certain players to people's attention as potential prospects.

    Needs:

    1. LB. The weak area of the defense right now, specially DE/OLB pass rushers. ILB looks better with Mayo/Guyton and McKenzie returning from IR. Adalius Thomas can play both OLB and SILB if he remains with the team beyond this year. Ideally, I see us continuing to play both 3-4 as a base defense with lots of 4-3 sets mixed in, so guys with positional versatility will be especially valuable. I can see our defense becoming potentially dominant in 2010-2011 with a better pass rush and one or two additional playmakers.

    2. OL. The interior line is particularly vulnerable, with both Logan Mankins' and Stephen Neal's contracts expiring. At OT Vollmer/Kaczur/Levoir are signed for a bit, but the long term status of Matt Light remains unclear.

    3. RB. Faulk is a FA after 2009. Maroney, Morris and Taylor are FAs after 2010, and Morris and Taylor are aging and coming off of injuries. Youth and depth at the position would be useful.

    4. DL. Depth on the DL is always useful. Jarvis Green is a FA and make be gone after this year. I assume Vince Wilfork will be franchised or extended. Warren, Wilfork, Wright, Brace and Pryor are a strong nucleus, but there is room for at least one more DE, especially someone with athleticism to play the 5 position.

    5. WR. Depending on how Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman develop, depth at WR after Moss and Welker is desirable. An eventual #1 successor to Randy Moss is always worth looking at, though I see more options in 2011.

    6. P. I still think we can do much better than Chris Hanson.

    With those needs in mind, I am assuming that we will be picking around 32, 36 (from Tennessee), 42 (from Jacksonville), 64, 128 and 160 and 192, with no 3rd round pick (due to the Derrick Burgess trade) and no 7th round pick. Realistically I can't see us picking much earlier than 28th, so why not be optimistic and assume we will win it all? I don't see us getting anything significant in the way of comp picks this year.

    Since this is an exercise to largely bring up prospects of interest rather than to predict what we actually might do, I've listed a bunch of altneratives.

    So, without further ado ...

    Possible Picks

    1(32). Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama (junior). 6'4", 254#, 4.70. There's a better than 50% chance he won't last this far, but if he does he would be hard to pass up, even though I see pass rushers as a greater need than ILBs. Ideal SILB complement to Mayo in the 3-4 and SAM backer in the 4-3 for us. I think he's separated himself from LBs Brandon Spikes and Eric Norwood at this point. Alternatives if he's not available would include those guys (though I don't think either would be my pick in the 1st round) or a pass rusher (see below). OT Bruce Campbell from Maryland would be a steal if he lasted this long, but I expect him go to top 15. A 3-4 DE could also be a late 1st round option if the right one were available. LB Sean Weatherspoon of Missouri is a fine player with good size (6'2" 247#) and pursuit, but with the emergence of Gary Guyton and the return of Tyrone McKenzie I don't see going after that style of player.

    2(36). Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/OLB, USF (junior). 6'6" 265#, 4.60. A physical freak with an 81" wingspan and terrific athleticism, reminiscent of a young Javon Kearse. A bit raw but tremendous upside. Junior JUCO transfer who may not declare. I've listed Pierre-Paul because of his upside, but equally reasonable alternatives would include DEs Derrick Morgan, Everson Griffen and Greg Hardy, all of whom could go 1st round or slip to the early 2nd round, so if you prefer one of those guys feel free to substitute. I think all 4 guys have the athleticism to play 3-4 OLB in our system as well as 4-3 DE. I see these guys as preferable to smaller, quicker speed rushers like Jerry Hughes, Sergio Kindle, Ricky Sapp, Jeremy Beals, Jason Worilds, George Selvie, Lindsey Witten and O'Brien Schofield in our system (due to their ability to play 4-3 DE and their better ability to set the edge), but those guys could also get consideration. There's a lot of them. Von Miller from Texas A&M has great speed and is a James Harrison kind of guy, but at 6'2" 240# is too small for us.

    2(42). Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho (senior). 6'6" 330#, 5.20. A Samoan mammoth who moves incredibly well for his size. Would do wonders for our running game and interior pass protection. Junior C/G Maurkice Pouncey from Florida would also get serious consideration here if he declares. Those are the only 2 interior linemen I would consider this high. A bunch on good interior linemen should also be available later on if we went in a different direction here, including guys like Mike Johnson from Alabama, Jon Asamaoh from Illinois, and Vladimir Ducasse from UMass. A running back like Jonathan Dwyer from Georgia Tech (6'1", 230#) could get consideration here if he fell.

    2(64). Lawrence Marsh, DE/DT, Florida (junior). 6'5" 305#, 4.95. Extremely athletic junior who has battled injuries this year and is flying under the radar in a class very deep at the position. Adrian Clayborn from Iowa could also be an option here. Senior Corey Wootton from Northwestern (6'7", 280#) came into 2009 as a projected 1st round pick but hasn't regained his junior form after an injury in a bowl game last year. He could slip as well, and would be worth considering if he was projected to make a full recovery, but comes with more risk.

    *3(65). Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno St. (junior). 5'11" 220#, 4.50. Tough aggressive rougher, a bit reminiscent of Rashard Mendenhall. I could see an RB like Matthews or Jonathan Dwyer (who would likely go late 1st/early 2nd round and could deserve serious consideration with one of our earlier picks) being an option. Yes, I know we don't have a pick here right now, but this could be an alternative to DE in the late 2nd round, so I listed it anyway. I could also see us trying to trade up if he slips to the 3rd round, which could easily happen (the way the Jets traded up to get Shonn Green last year), so I listed this here just to get him on people's radar. I'm sure Pat Hill will make sure Matthews doesn't go unnoticed by BB. Would be a nice complement to Maroney and BJGE.

    4(128). Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin (junior). 6'7", 320#, 5.30. This could be anything, but I could see us drafting an OT for depth around this point in the draft. Seniors Sam Young (Notre Dame), Adam Ulatowski (Texas), and Kyle Calloway (Iowa) would all get consideration if available, though all may go sooner. Calloway or Carimi would be my preferred candidates at this point, if they were somehow available. Jeff Linkenbach from Cincinnati might be worth a look, but I haven't seen enough of him to tell.

    5(160). Best available WR prospect. Possibly someone like junior Vidal Hazelton from Cincinnati (6'2", 200#), if he comes out. Anyone's guess. I've heard Mardy Gilyard projected anywhere from the 1st round to the 5th. He would be a nice option as well, but I'm assuming he goes earlier.

    6(192). Best available P. I don't know much about this year's class. 6'5" Zoltan Mesko from Michigan is generally rated the top prospect, but I'm not sure if there are any standouts.
     
  2. jsull87

    jsull87 In the Starting Line-Up

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    i honestly think that with the success that we have had with our rookie class this year and the playing time they get if i were running the team(...dream) i would try to trade out and into 2011 again as it'd be pretty hard for another rookie class to make the team.

    My imediate needs are olb,og, wr. so i was thinking more trade out of our 1st and get some more 2nds next year and keep the 2008 draft trend of rebuilding using multiple 2nd's. and draft best available in no particular order OLB, OG and WR. As especially the olb and wr take a bit of time to develop (historically not including this years draft class)
     
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't think we have much need for depth this year, depedending on what happens with re-signing and extending teams. I see us using our day 1 picks and using our other picks to trade around or trade into 2011. But I can definitiely see an opening for pass rushing DE/OLBs, a RB and an OG at the very least. You want to stay ahead of the curve and not draft only when there's a huge hole, as it usually takes a year for prospects to develop in our system. The other picks will depend on who is available.

    Again, this was more an exercise about possible needs and guys to focus on for the next 6 months heading up to the draft than about what we will actually do, which is always a mystery.
     
  4. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thinking about it some more, I had our 1st 2 picks used on DE/LBs. I think that is by far our biggest need. I could see 2 different types of players being picked:

    1. A guy who is currently a DE and who can play the elephant in the 3-4. Jason Pierre-Paul, Derrick Morgan, Everson Griffen and Greg Hardy are the guys who I like. In the 4-3 I see these guys lining up at DE, not SAM.

    2. A guy who can play 4-3 SAM and either 3-4 SILB or 3-4 OLB. Rolando McClain (3-4 SILB and possibly OLB and 4-3 SAM), Sergio Kindle and Jerry Hughes (3-4 OLB + 4-3 SAM) are the guys I like. I really don't see these guys lining up at 4-3 DE for us much.

    The 2nd type of guy would be better in space and in coverage, and more of a speed rusher (especially Kindle and Hughes). The 1st type of guy would be more of a Vrabel set the edge kind of guy, although all 4 guys listed have impressive athleticism.

    SILB is clearly not as big a need as OLB, but I probably rate McClain slightly ahead of the other guys right now as a prospect and think he has the most versatility.

    I'd be extremely happy with any combination of those guys with our 1st 2 picks.
     
  5. NePatriots

    NePatriots PatsFans.com Draftnik PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If Adrian Clayborn lasts until #32 I'd be surprised, let alone #64
     
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You may be right. I've seen him go as high as #15 in some mocks, and I've seen him listed as the 15th highest ranked DE prospect alone in other rankings. I suspect he'll climb in the post-season if he comes out, but he's still flying a bit under the radar.

    My top guys who are flying under the radar right now include:

    - DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
    - DE Jason Pierre-Paul, USF
    - OT Bruce Campbell, Maryland
    - OG Mike Iupati, Idaho
    - OG/C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida
    - RB Ryan Mathews, Fresno St.
    - DE/DT Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
    - DE/OLB Jeremy Beals, Oklahoma

    These guys aren't getting as much hype as the bigger names right now, but I doubt they'll last very long. I think the scouts have noticed them more than the general public.
     
  7. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    For every guy that rises, someone has to fall. There's only 32 1st round picks and 64 day 1 picks.

    Right now, including all juniors, I consider the following defensive players to rate a 2nd round grade (juniors with an asterix):

    Ndamukong Suh, DE/DT
    Gerald McCoy, DE/DT*
    Terrance Cody, NT
    Boo Robinson, NT
    Arthur Jones, DE/DT
    Jared Odrick, DE/DT
    Lawrence Marsh, DE/DT*
    Marvin Austin, DE/DT*
    Allen Bailey, DE/DT*
    Brian Price, DT*

    Carlos Dunlap, DE*
    Cameron Heyward, DE*
    Adrian Clayborn, DE*
    Derrick Morgan, DE* (could play 3-4 elephant)
    Greg Hardy, DE (could play 3-4 elephant)
    Everson Griffen, DE* (could play 3-4 elephant)
    Jason Pierre-Paul, DE* (could play 3-4 elephant)
    Greg Romeus, DE*
    Brandon Graham, DE
    Corey Wootton, DE

    Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB
    Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB
    Ricky Sapp, DE/OLB
    Jeremy Beal, DE/OLB*
    O'Brien Schofield, DE/OLB
    Von Miller, DE/OLB*

    Rolando McClain, LB*
    Sean Weatherspoon, LB
    Brandon Spikes, LB
    Eric Norwood, LB
    Travis Lewis, LB*
    Bruce Carter, LB*

    Eric Berry, S*
    Taylor Mays, S
    Earl Thomas, S*
    Reshad Jones, S*
    Morgan Burnett, S*
    Nate Allen, S

    Joe Haden, CB*
    Patrick Robinson, CB
    Trevard Lindley, CB
    Ras-I Dowling, CB*
    Perrish Cox, CB
    Brandon Ghee, CB
    Syd'Quan Thompson, CB
    Kyle Wilson, CB

    Borderline guys:

    Tyson Allualu, DT
    Vince Oghobasse, DT
    George Selvie, DE/OLB
    Brandon Lang, DE/OLB
    Lindsey Witteen, DE/OLB
    Jason Worilds, DE/OLB*
    Sean Lee, LB
    Navarro Bowman, LB
    Micah Johnson, LB
    Darrell Stuckey, S
    Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB

    So I currently count 46 day 1 defensive prospects and 11 borderline guys, assuming everyone comes out. And I could probably have included a bunch more borderline guys from the junior ranks.

    Obviously not everyone will come out. But with record numbers predicted to declare given the likelihood of a 2011 rookie salary scale, there will be too many prospects to fit into the first 2 rounds. Some will rise, causing others to fall. Maybe Clayborn rises and Jared Odrick, Cameron Heyward or Marvin Austin fall. It's way too early to tell. But there will be plenty of fruit for the picking.
     
  8. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    I really like this mock and would be extremely pleased if it fell this way.

    McClain - everybody knows I like his game. He already knows our defense, is a playmaker and he can make the calls.

    Iupati - a flat backed mauler in the middle that RB's can run behind on 3rd and 1. I am all for him.

    Mathews - tough runner. I think he went over 1,000 yards for the season a week or two ago. Good value here.

    Carimi - is a mountain of a man. Once he gets his arms locked onto a defender, game over.

    As a junior, I wonder what Carimi and other juniors ranked in the 150 plus range will do? With a lot of juniors declaring in order to avoid a potential rookie scale, do these kids stay in college and become a much higher pick next year, or take the cash this year. That is a tough choice for a 22 year old kid. I hope no sneaky agents exploit these kids, but I bet it happens.
    Maybe the NCAA should do something about agents troling campuses for these juniors!!!!!
     
  9. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good points.

    Right now there aren't that many players that I consider worth a late 1st round draft pick (as opposed to trading down a bit). There are blue chippers like Ndamukong Suh who will be long gone. But the guys who seem to me to clearly rate a 1st round pick if they are available where we pick (likely to be in the 28-32 range) include:

    - Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
    - Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
    - Greg Hardy, DE, Mississippi or Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
    - Possibly DE/OLB Sergio Kindle, Texas or Jerry Hughes, TCU

    I'm not sure I personally feel anyone else who has a chance of falling to us is worth jumping at. There are so many folks coming out, and they're all bunched together. Are Hughes and Kindle going to be better than Jeremy Beal or a bunch of other prospects? Is a late 1st round 3-4 DE (Jared Odrick or Marvin Austin) going to be clearly better than a mid-2nd round guy? Hard to tell at this point.

    I know you like Terrance Cody and Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap could easily fall to the 20's based on inconsistency. I just don't see him having the speed and athleticism to play the elephant for us, and he's not big and stout enough to play the 5 position. Cody is a beast but I'm still not sure he's a 3 down player, and we have a lot of talent at the position currently. And I suspect both will be gone well before we pick.
     
  10. NePatriots

    NePatriots PatsFans.com Draftnik PatsFans.com Supporter

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    When you list all those guys... I see your point. However, if Clayborn was on national TV as much as Dunlap -- you'd see him in top 10's. I get the pleasure of watching him in person 7-8 times a year...
     
  11. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

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    Clayborn looks more like a 4-3 defensive end to me. May not fit our system. Don't think he's quick enough to play olb like a Willie McGinest. I would draft Clayborn if we change to a 4-3. But, if we stick to a 3-4. I'd rather have Odrick. B.Graham and J.Hughes aren't too tall. We heard BB say that he likes his pass-rushers a little taller. Harrison and Woodley's success in Pittsburgh wouldn't have me worried about their height. Not a great draft for rb's. If Gresham from OU is ok physically. Wouldn't shock me a bit if we draft him in Round 1. Of course, if he is ok physically. He won't last until 32. Or, 27-30.

    1. Jerry Hughes - OLB - We can't get to the qb. Most glaring need by far.

    2a. Jared Odrick - DE - Big, 2-gap de who can be a run stuffer. Physically reminds me
    of Seymour. Just not Seymour's burst off of the ball.

    2b traded for 1st rounder next year. I can hear whole board groan draft day.

    2c OL - Haven't seen the kid from Idaho. But, sounds good to me.
     
  12. kas

    kas Practice Squad Player

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    Things I tried to keep in mind - BB loves big school players with experience in the early rounds. We have a lot of youth at LB (Mayo, Guyton, McKenzie, Ninkovich, Crable). Although some are still big question marks, I think we address the position in FA if BB wants to add depth.

    Here's mine:
    1) TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
    - Call it a hunch. We all know BB loves his TE's. Only Baker is under contract for next year. Gresham is the best TE prospect in years. Very good speed, incredibly athletic, great hands/production. Has a big frame and is a good blocker too. He only falls this far cuz he misses the year with knee surgery (scope-no torn ligaments). IMO he could be a great complement to LB's trying to crash down on Welker.

    2a) DE Brandon Graham, Michigan
    - Graham IMO is the most polished DE in this draft. Although not as tall as many would prefer (6'2), he has long arms, plays physical, and is a beast at setting the edge. Has multiple pass rush moves, and has continued to produce on a very average Michigan defense. He has showed well against some top OT's. Could be a replacement for Burgess.

    2b) DT Jared Odrick, Penn st
    - A Seymour/Warren type body (6'5, 300). Very athletic for a big man and should provide some nice depth along the DL. Will probably play 4-3 SDE and 3-4 end. This may seem like a little bit of overkill for the dline, but this is one position BB loves to draft and seems to have great success here. It's also possible that we look to trade this pick, but with all the juniors probably coming out, there appears to be a ton of value in round 2.

    2c) OT Zane Beadles, Utah
    - I can't believe how many people keep giving the Pats 6'5 330 road graders...they just don't fit the system. Beadles imo is a Mankins clone, although slightly less athletic. He's good not great size (6'4, 305), experienced LT for a spread offense, can play in space, and would block his mother if the coach told him to. He'd project inside for us, and I could see a guy like him quickly making a mark in the starting lineup.

    4) RB Michael Smith, Arkansas
    - Something about this guy screams Kevin Faulk. Super quick although not a burner. He's tough and can run inside but probably can't handle the load full time. Great hands and a very effective pass protector. Not flashy but just solid consistent and reliable - just the way BB wants it. I fully expect Faulk back next year, but he's ancient for a RB and Smith seems like a nice understudy to add to our stable of backs.
     
  13. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Two comments.

    First, it's not clear that we are staying with a zone blocking scheme, and we've had very limited success running the football with it. A more power-based approach would not be amiss.

    Second, Mike Iupati may be 6'6" 330# but he is not a classic road grader. He has minimal body fat and moves like a much smaller guy, with surprisingly good agility and footwork for a guard. The fact that he's big and strong enough to overpower people is just a plus.
     
  14. kas

    kas Practice Squad Player

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    Even before the ZBS, BB has always tended to favor lighter quicker linemen. In fact, the only "road grader" he ever got was O'Callaghan who he took late and never really panned out. From Andruzzi, Mike Compton, Adrian Klemm, Kenyatta Jones, Greg Robinson-Randall early on to now Volmer, Orhnberger, Levoir, the trend seems pretty apparent no matter how nimble any road grader type might appear to be. Not saying it's right or wrong, it's just what it is.

    On another note, BB has taken very few small school players at all, especially early on. Even guys like Kaczur who went to Toledo competed against the top schools. Not even sure who Idaho has ever played.

    Truthfully, however, we don't know what will happen and we might have to agree and disagree...
     
  15. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

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    I took a quick look at his stats this year and they don't seem amazing. I'm not familiar with Pierre-Paul, so just wondering why you rate him so highly.
     
  16. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Because of his length (6'6"), speed (4.60), wingspan (81") and athleticism.

    Pierre-Paul is raw. No doubt about it. I sort of threw him out there deliberately to get people's attention. I would probably take Greg Hardy, Derrick Morgan and Everson Griffen over Pierre-Paul right now as more complete products who have played thougher competition, even though Pierre-Paul may have the highest upside. But those guys could all go 1st round, and Pierre-Paul will like go somewhere in the 2nd round if he comes out because he is more raw.
     
  17. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    He has him listed because he is an athletic freak with huge trianlge numbers (length/weight/speed) and an incredible 81 inch wing span.

    He is a high risk/high reward type player and someone will overdraft this kid based on numbers alone.

    I think OLB remains the single hardest position for us to follow how BB thinks. BB says he wants to draft big guys that can run fast. But there is so much more to it than that:

    They have to be strong enough to stack the edge on running plays.

    They have to be quick twitch enough to cover.

    They have to be explosive enough to rush the passer.

    And most importantly I think they have to show on film that they can do all three.

    When you consider how many names BB passed on in last year's draft alone, it makes you wonder what morey he is really looking for in draft eligible players for this position.

    I have heard people say he prefers veterans at OLB and safety as these are critical points in his defense.

    I would hope that with the success of Merriweather (and one day Chung), maybe he is now ready to tackle the task of drafting and developing his own OLB.
     
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Exactly. I was being somewhat deliberately provocative with the Pierre-Paul pick, based on his upside and potential. Realistically I would see BB preferring a more experienced player that high in the draft. But I think that Greg Hardy and Derrick Morgan will likely go top 20 as things stand right now.

    My "ideal" first day draft as of right now would be something like:

    1(32). Rolando McClain, ILB. Should go top 20, but ILBs tend to slip.
    2(36). Greg Hardy, DE/OLB. Pass rusher to play 4-3 DE and 3-4 elephant.
    2(42). Mike Iupati, OG. Already discussed.
    2(64). Ryan Mathews, RB. I've posted some film of him on the draft prospects sticky. Outstanding. Very reminiscent of Rashard Mendenhall.
     
  19. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have a hard time thinking of 6'8" 315# Sebastian Vollmer as a "lighter, quicker" lineman. Ditto 6'7" 310# Mark Levoir. And while Mankins isn't a "road grader" he's pretty solid.
     
  20. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There's a lot of very talented guys out there who are flying under the radar. Some even play for major teams.

    Another guy to keep an eye on is junior DE/OLB Jeremy Beal from Oklahoma. 6'3", 260#. Came to Oklahoma as a linebacker, has played mostly DE for the Sooners but can play in space. Was banged up his first 2 years, has broken out this year. Had 3 sacks in a couple of games, currently has 7 sacks on the year. Had 11 tackles in the Texas game and was all over the field. He's not getting the publicity that Sergio Kindle or Jerry Hughes are getting, but he's a player.
     

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